Monday, 24 October 2011


Sir Bobby's Breakthrough Auction ended last night (Sunday 23 October) and raised an incredible £202,774 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

The auction, and a ball in Suffolk held on Thursday (20th October), were organised by volunteer fund-raiser Gina Long in memory of Sir Bobby Robson and her friend breast cancer campaigner Sally Balch.

Gina is rightly proud of what has been achieved and says: "Sir Bobby's Breakthrough Auction and Ball has been a magnificent success.

"This has all been made possible because of the enormous love and respect for Sir Bobby Robson, who I was privileged to call a great friend.

"So many football clubs wanted to do their bit to honour Sir Bobby and the support from auction prize donors, sponsors, individuals, companies and the generous bidders have helped make it a huge success and way beyond our wildest dreams.

"I did this in memory of Sir Bobby and my beautiful friend Sally Balch who lost her battle with breast cancer. I hope the fantastic auction committee, who have worked so hard, have done them justice."

Over £50,000 was raised at Sir Bobby's Breakthrough Ball, which was held in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, and attended by Lady Elsie Robson and Sir Bobby Robson Foundation Patrons Mick Mills and Delia Smith.

All other funds were raised through the two week online auction which featured 188 incredible lots including television, driving and sporting experiences, sports memorabilia, luxury treats, dining, jewellery, clothing and holidays. It was supported by Sir Bobby's former teams, football clubs as far away as Oregon, USA, and representatives from the world of rugby, horse racing, golf, snooker, tennis, cricket and more.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Gary Lineker, Ant and Dec, Katherine Jenkins, Graeme Swann, Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola, Arsene Wenger, Denise Welch, Andre Villas-Boas, Harry Redknapp and Fabio Capello are just some of the high profile names who donated very special prizes and helped make the auction such a success.

The star lot was Jose Mourinho's FIFA Ballon D'Or World Coach of the Year Award 2010 trophy, which raised a staggering £26,000.

Other prizes included:

• FC Barcelona experience with personal presentation by Josep ‘Pep’ Guardiola
• Two match tickets and hospitality at 2012 UEFA Champions League final
• David Beckham signed shirt and ball
• Wimbledon Centre Court tickets to the 2012 Championship
• Watch England training session with Fabio Capello and signed shirt presentation
• A silver replica of the cup ‘Taca de Portugal,’ won by FC Porto under the management of Sir Bobby
• Ipswich Town FC experience to play on the Portman Road turf and be coached by legendary player
• Two tickets to the final of Britain`s Got Talent 2012
• Red Arrows VIP day at RAF Scampton
• England rugby shirt and tickets to a 6 nations game
• Customised vintage Milner safe, professionally restored with a Newcastle United legends theme
• Tickets to Katherine Jenkins Daydream tour and a meet and greet after the show
• Behind the scenes tour of the BBC Match of the Day studios with Gary Lineker
• Create your own genuine Branston Pickle experience
• Tea for two and a tour of the House of Commons
• Luxury Grand Bahama island holiday
• A Loose Women TV experience as guests of Denise Welch
• Luxury three bedroom villa holiday in Carvoeiro, Western Algarve, Portugal
• VIP football experiences at Rangers, Celtic, Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Doncaster Rovers, Hull City, Cardiff City, Swansea, Millwall, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Queens Park Rangers, Crystal Palace, Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa, Nottingham Forest, Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Colchester United, Burnley, Fulham, Ipswich Town, West Bromwich Albion, Birmingham City, Bolton, Wigan, Sheffield United, Bristol City, Watford, Norwich City, Derby County, Liverpool, Everton, Leicester City, Middlesbrough, Newcastle United, Sunderland AFC, Porto, PSV Eindhoven, Sporting Lisbon, and Portland Timbers (Oregon, USA) football clubs

Lady Elsie Robson says: "Sir Bobby's Breakthrough Auction has taken a tremendous amount of effort. My family and I are extremely grateful to Gina for her vision, hard work and enthusiasm in creating this ambitious charity venture.

"We're also very appreciative of all the many people who have pitched in and helped by volunteering their time, expertise and incredible auction prizes.

"When my husband and I launched our charity in 2008 Bob said he felt like he was at the helm of a team again. What he called his last and greatest team and taking on a challenge far greater than any football match.

"We began with the aim to equip a centre to trial new cancer drugs and we've been able to fulfil that ambition and do so much more.

"Our medical trustees are always looking for the next breakthrough, the next promising investment into cancer equipment or training. Always looking to fulfil Bob's ambition to provide truly world class facilities for others fighting cancer.

"Sadly cancer affects us all in one way or another, but with us all pulling together, one day we will beat it."

Thursday, 20 October 2011


Delia Smith CBE, Britain's best selling cookery writer and joint majority shareholder in Norwich City Football Club, will tonight (20th October) be announced as a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation at a dinner to raise funds for the charity.

Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Ball at The Apex in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, will also raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and Lady Elsie Robson is taking the opportunity to announce Delia’s new role.

Lady Elsie says: “After my husband died I asked a small group of friends if they would help support our ongoing efforts fighting cancer through the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.

“Delia was one of those people and, very kindly, she immediately agreed. Since then we’ve been waiting for an appropriate occasion to announce her support.

“It’s taken a bit longer than any of us had planned and I’m happy that we’re finally in a position to thank Delia publicly for her behind the scenes support. Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Ball will be a wonderful event and a very fitting occasion to welcome Delia formally as a Patron of the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”

Sir Bobby and Lady Elsie launched the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation in March 2008 to help find more effective ways to treat and diagnose cancer. It funds projects which directly benefit cancer patients including the clinical trials of new drugs at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Delia joins a select group of high profile supporters as a Patron of the charity. Sir Bobby’s Ipswich Town captain Mick Mills, Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer, Sunderland AFC’s Niall Quinn and Middlesbrough FC chairman Steve Gibson all generously contribute in that role.

Delia says: “Sir Bobby was a great friend and inspiration to me for many years, and it is a privilege to help continue the magnificent work he and Elsie started in any way I can.

“Cancer knows no boundaries, and it is wonderful that this is one struggle in which all football clubs have united. This evening is just one step towards the ultimate aim – of eradicating the scourge of this disease.

“It will happen, and by supporting Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction and Ball we can make it happen sooner rather than later. I look forward to a record-breaking evening.”

Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Ball and Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction aim to raise £250,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

The online auction has attracted 160 lots which include unforgettable sporting and television experiences, unique memorabilia donated by some of the biggest names in football and incredible luxury holidays.

Football clubs across the UK, and as far away as the USA, have donated genuinely ‘money can’t buy’ prizes and the auction has the support of all of Sir Bobby’s teams.

Lady Elsie adds: “One of the greatest strengths of our charity, and something I know my husband was immensely proud of, is the way football clubs have joined together to back our cause.

“In his last book, Bob wrote that cancer takes no account of your team, your age or anything else and the wonderful support we’re receiving from football clubs all over the world reflects that. We’re extremely grateful to Delia and all the football clubs and fans who are contributing to our fight against cancer.”

Norwich City is generously contributing to Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction by offering the opportunity to present the Anglian Home Improvements Player of the Month Award on the pitch at Carrow Road. The prize also includes two tickets to the Premier League fixture between Norwich City and Sir Bobby’s former club Newcastle United on Saturday 10th December and a meal at the Gunn Club.

For more details on Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction or to make a donation please go to or follow via Twitter @sirbobbyauction.

The majority of auction lots end on Sunday 23rd October although a small number will be completed at the Ball tonight.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


A fantastic online auction with over 130 fantastic prizes that aims to raise £250,000 for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation and Breakthrough Breast Cancer officially begins on Saturday 8 October.

An array of priceless sporting memorabilia donated by luminaries at home and abroad head the fabulous auction which runs for two weeks at

The likes of Brazil legend Pele, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola and the great Sir Alex Ferguson and other football royalty have donated auction items – highlighting the impact Sir Bobby had on the world game.

His former clubs, Newcastle and Ipswich Town, have also donated fantastic prizes. Jose Mourinho, the Real Madrid coach who worked with Sir Bobby, has donated the most significant personal trophy he has landed so far in his phenomenal career - his FIFA Ballon D’Or World Coach of the Year trophy.

But fantastic sporting memorabilia from the likes of Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas, a host of Premier League clubs and sporting stars such as Lewis Hamilton and Graeme Swann are just the tip of the iceberg for an auction which has more than 130 items going under the virtual hammer.

Also on offer is a true once in a lifetime opportunity for two people to watch training at FC Barcelona, arguably one of the greatest teams ever. Meet and greet with the superstar players and receive a first team signed shirt presented by their manager Pep Guardiola himself. Plus two tickets for a FC Barcelona home match at the Nou Camp, one of the world's truly great stadiums.

Pep Guardiola said “I encourage everybody to take part in this charity initiative for Sir Bobby Robson. For us as a club and for myself it is an honour to participate and to have the opportunity to invite two persons to come and visit our training session, attend a game at our stadium and receive a signed shirt from our players. I encourage everybody in England and around the world to contribute in this and to fight against cancer by supporting Sir Bobby’s Breakthrough Auction.”

Mr Guardiola was interviewed about why FC Barcelona are supporting the auction on the club's website here.

Further prizes include a 24-hour supercar experience, a week at a luxury resort in the Bahamas and a personal tour of Alnwick Castle given by the Duchess of Northumberland are other highlights.

The auction, and an associated lavish fundraising ball, was the brainchild of Gina Long, a friend of the Robson family, who wanted to organise a fundraising event to truly honour Sir Bobby and also Breakthrough Breast Cancer, which she is a passionate supporter of and Chair of The West Suffolk Group.

Gina Long, Founder, added: “I have been truly touched and overwhelmed by the generosity of every single donation of an auction item and messages of goodwill and support.

“We set out to raise as much money as possible for these two wonderful charities and as we launch this wonderful auction, I know we are heading in the right direction.

“I would now ask everyone to take a look at the wonderful auction list as there really is something for everyone. Please offer what you can to help make a difference to people suffering from this wretched disease. You can also help make a big difference by simply texting SBBA11 £3 to 70070.”

Mark Robson, Sir Bobby’s son and part of the Auction Organising Committee, said: “We are hugely appreciative of every single individual or organisation which has donated something for the auction or offered their support.

“My dad would have been so proud at the way everyone has pulled together by contributing such incredible prizes.”

The auction is being held in memory of Sir Bobby and breast cancer fundraiser Sally Balch.

It will run on-line for two weeks from this Saturday 8th October until Sunday 23rd October – and aims, alongside the fundraising ball, to raise £250,000 for both charities. You can register to bid from Saturday on the website and the full list of superb prizes can be found at

Adam Clark, Project Manager, said “It is an incredible campaign. Every day we hear from someone who wants to help or has something to donate. The support for what we are doing has been amazing. The quantity, breadth and quality of the items donated to the auction lies testament to the combined reach of Breakthrough Breast Cancer and The Sir Bobby Robson Foundation.”

The auction is being supported by HRH the Prince of Wales, Prime Minister David Cameron, culinary legend Delia Smith, John McCarthy and former Ipswich Town stars George Burley, Alan Brazil and Mick Mills MBE.

David Sheepshanks, a member of the organising committee, said: “Sir Bobby Robson was loved across the entire football world.

“He touched so many people’s lives and it is only fitting that so many people across football, sport and beyond have got behind this wonderful auction.

“I now urge everyone to start bidding to help raise as much money as possible for these two wonderful charities.”

For more details on the fundraiser or to make a donation or for more information go to: or follow via Twitter @sirbobbyauction